Dominion Resources and the Library of Virginia Honor Eight African-American 'Strong Men & Women in Virginia History'

RICHMOND, Va., Feb. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Dominion Resources and the Library of Virginia commemorated the leadership and accomplishments of eight outstanding African Americans during the third annual "Strong Men & Women in Virginia History" awards program on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015, at the Richmond Marriott.

The program honors prominent African Americans, past and present, who have made significant contributions to the commonwealth.

"Recognizing and celebrating the accomplishments of these extraordinary honorees is a fitting way to celebrate Black History Month," said Daniel A. Weekley, vice president of Corporate Affairs-Dominion. "These men and women excelled despite numerous obstacles, and their influence has created a stronger, better community." Dominion Resources is the parent company of Dominion Virginia Power.

"These 2015 Strong Men and Women are being recognized for their refusal to be defined by their circumstances," added Dr. Sandra G. Treadway, Librarian of Virginia. "Through education, the arts, sports, science, and service to their country, these individuals have made important contributions that have enriched not only their lives but the lives of all of us."

The following honorees were recognized:

  • Brig. Gen. Shelia R. Baxter, USA, Ret. – first African-American female brigadier general, Army Medical Service Corps, Franklin
  • James "Plunky" Branch – performer, songwriter, music and film producer, Richmond
  • Beth A. Brown* – astrophysicist, Roanoke
  • Sgt. William Harvey Carney* – first African-American awarded Medal of Honor for Civil War service, Norfolk
  • Lott Cary* – prominent American missionary to Africa, Charles City County
  • Earl Francis Lloyd – first African-American National Basketball Association player, Alexandria
  • Alonzo H. Mourning Jr. – retired professional athlete and vice president-Player Programs/Development, Miami HEAT, Chesapeake
  • Jamelle S. Wilson, Ed.D. – first female and first African-American superintendent, Hanover County Public Schools, Hanover County
    *posthumous honor

Four high school students also were recognized during the ceremony. Each wrote winning essays, selected from more than 200 entries, about overcoming obstacles that prevent their community from reaching its full potential.

The winners of the 2015 "Strong Men & Women in Virginia History" student essay writing contest are:

  • Paige Lambert – Hanover High School, Hanover County
  • Vanessa Adkins – Charles City High School, Charles City County
  • Angela Gyane – Potomac Senior High School, Prince William County
  • Eric Xu – Western Albemarle County High School, Albemarle County

Each student received an Apple iPad and $1,000 for their school. Winning essays and program details, as well as photos and videos of the event are posted on

About Dominion
Dominion is one of the nation's largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 24,600 megawatts of generation, 12,400 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,455 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation's largest natural gas storage systems with 949 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 12 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company's website at

About the Library of Virginia
The Library of Virginia (, located in historic downtown Richmond, holds the world's most extensive collection of material about the Old Dominion and has been a steward of the commonwealth's documentary and printed heritage since 1823. The story of Virginia and Virginians has been told in many ways since 1607. At the Library of Virginia it is told through more than 119 million manuscripts and nearly 2.5 million books, serials, bound periodicals, microfilm reels, newspapers and state and federal documents, each an individual tile in the vast and colorful mosaic of Virginia's experience.


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SOURCE Dominion

For further information: Janell Hancock, (804) 771-6115,, Chuck Penn, (703) 796-9308,, Bonita B. Harris, (757) 857-2700,, Jan Hathcock, (804) 692-3592,